Turkish Bank Loses in Anti-Sanctions Court Action

Immunity failed // State Bank has been tried for violating the sanctions against Iran

When we had Saturday, the Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in USA v.  Turkiye Halk Bank A.S.  The ruling of New York judge Richard Berman upheld – Turkish Halkbank can be held legally liable for violating sanctions against Iran.

In October 2019, A grand jury confirmed an indictment against the bank and several of its senior officials for violating the sanctions regime against Iran;  systematic activities to circumvent sanctions;  assistance in circumventing sanctions;  money laundering;  fraud;  and collusion in the above.

Funds from the sale of Iranian gas and of oil were deposited in the Halkbank, which bought gold with them, which was transferred to the Iranian government.  No less than $20 billion passed under this scheme.  According to the of the prosecutor, this is one of the most serious violations of the sanctions against Iran that we have seen, and no business should benefit from bypassing our laws or from creating risks to our national security.

A Turkish bank has challenged the initiation of a criminal case on the basis of the US Foreign Immunities Act, since the Turkish government (Erdogan) is the majority owner of the bank.  The first instance considered transfers in favor of and on behalf of the Central Bank of Iran, the Iranian National Oil Company, the Iranian National Gas Company and others, as well as loans – ordinary commercial banking activities, which are not subject to immunities.

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